This is a light-hearted reflection that I hope will inspire …. particularly if you’ve feeling life is a bit of a dog today and you’re chained in the kennel somewhere….
In case you missed it, a dog named Pudsey won Britain’s Got Talent last Saturday together with Ashleigh his teenage trainer. They pranced around the stage mesmerizing everyone with how clever and cool this little canine was dancing around on his hind legs. It certainly was entertaining. Part of the reason was the chemistry between Ashleigh and her pooch- and the fact that she was able to train Pudsey to venture way beyond the comfort zone of most four-legged creatures.
The response people had to the dog and trainer routine was absolute awe and wonder at what Pudsey was capable of – how he ‘appeared so human and responsive’ working in synch with Ashleigh. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” some exclaimed as they applauded with delight. And we thought that dogs could fetch tennis balls and sticks, go for walks, keep us company, bark at strangers, and that was that.
Most dogs never get to dance and play, perform and go to the places Pudsey trotted with panting tongue and no make-up. The vast majority of us subsist far below what is possible because we never encounter someone like Ashleigh who will put in the time to enable us to reach beyond… and become.. unbelievable. Show me a person living apart from God and I’ll show you a gross under-achiever. “Rubbish,” you retort, “Look at the morning news and what Mark has done with Facebook, or Paul McCartney has achieved in music…. and many others.” To which I reply, “You’re right, they have been incredibly successful – in a Godless environment where success is measured by the acquisition of dollars and the decibels one rocks with the applause from adoring fans who desperately desire someone to be their god or role model.” Begs the question really… how do we measure success and who do we look up to? I’m not saying that everything Mark does is bad or that Facebook is wrong or that Paul writes lousy music. I’d just be intrigued to know what Jesus could have accomplished in them and through them if he’d been their friend and trainer. 🙂
We are designed and intended for much more than survival, fetching sticks, and ‘being good’; even being independently wealthy and successful – what does it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul? The Christian life is meant to be an adventure with Jesus in whose company we discover that we are capable of so much more than we could ever ask or imagine. Pudsey loved doing his routine with Ashleigh. Their mutual success was totally dependent upon their relationship, trust, and fun in one another’s company. It was from such a foundation that the performance grew and became a winning combination.
The same is true for us. God doesn’t stand over us like a ferocious ringmaster with a whip screaming instructions. He has no desire to see us ‘do tricks’ either. But He certainly invites us to enter into the ‘more’ of life He revealed in Jesus and promises anyone who follows Him – on earth as in heaven. He wants to encourage us to venture beyond our comfort zones in order to experience what He/God (our trainer) can release in us and through us with a little practice and training. Except this is not entertainment; it is hearing God speak, healing the sick, encouraging those who are lost, and sharing the love and joy of the Father into a broken world.
The miracle of Jesus is that He releases amazing things through any who say, “Here I am, use me.” We don’t have to be ‘exceptional’… just available. If a dancing dog will get our attention God will even speak through Pudsey. I hope you’ve been inspired this week to not settle for less…. there’s so much more for you too! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But it does take time, and practice, lots of love, a willingness to try, and even make mistakes along the way….. have fun!
Now here’s what’s possible… their audition…..